South Africa is currently experiencing very high levels of unemployment, and it is forecast to get even worse with the continued covid environment, and the country’s socio-economic instability. Entrepreneurship and business collaborations have therefore become viable options in which South Africans, and particularly youth, can use to create jobs and boost the economy There are many entrepreneurs who have begun to tap into the E-commerce platforms, and hence sell their products and services online. As per data from FNB Merchant Services shows that the South African online e-commerce market has grown rapidly and is currently estimated at just under R200 billion per annum as companies such as Takealot, Woolworths and Checkers are all adapting to new consumer habits.

We at DLPHOTO have been able to assist in equipping students who would be interested in running their own e-commerce business from the comfort of their homes with the below skills:

How to shoot  E – Commerce product photography 

The wonderful thing about getting to be an entrepreneur in this competitive business is that one generally only require qualities like creativity, passion and ambition. A formal education is not necessarily required, but training can help to hone creative skills and teach you how to use technical equipment and that is what we do at DLPHOTO. We would also provide short and tailored 121 editing workshops for product photography. And if you have that creative eye of course, that’s just the “Cherry on top”. 

So, if you intending to start up your own business on a platform like Takealot or Shopify, or merely take photographs on your independent online selling platforms,  you would require the following gear to start:

A camera and the correct lens 

A tripod and a shutter release device for stability and avoidance of movement 

White background/infinity curve – most common for online e-commerce photoshoots, to ensure even grading and uniformity with a standard UX throughout

White bounce boards to control and evenly diffuse the light and shadows

A product table – should you be shooting smaller items, or require lighting from below

Good natural light, or, a studio lighting set up with triggers

The differences between Catalogue and Lifestyle Photography

You will be able to take those great pack shot and catalogue images that are essential to boost your e-commerce revenues or that of your client – Products need to be clear, crisp, and background specific, evenly graded like the images on the catalogues of Takealot and Superberlist. These items would be professionally captured and edited according to the brief. DLPHOTO , who is based in Cape Town, is not only a photography school that teaches students and fellow photographers the skills on how to photograph products, but also provides professional product and online photography services to small, medium and large clients, both private and agency related. Either through our professional photographers, or just rent the studio with your designated photographer… all packages include top of the range lighting for both stills and video, just bring your camera gear, could not be more perfect.

It is also important that you consider learning how to style your brands and that of clients for lifestyle photography requirements. Styling i an art that requires a certain amount of patience and dedication, where photography is more technical. When styling your products, your goal is to echo how the products are naturally used in their specific environments so as to speak the same emotions and desires of the target market.  For example, when photographing soap, make sure the subject has the correct skin texture to meet the attributes that the soap is pushing. Most websites have categories at the top of the webpage. The big picture running along the top is that “Hero shot”. The important question to ask yourself is “can your image can stand alone”, is it authentic and does it help your consumer imagine a world in which their problem is solved. 


The world of e-commerce is constantly growing for potential photographers who are looking to establish themselves in a fast growing genre. Join us and let’s learn together, or save the time and get someone who specialises in product photography to make this happen for you